How the Final Four Odds Say Which Teams Will March to Atlanta
The goal of every college basketball team is to play in the national title game. But to get there, every team has to do one thing first—make it to the Final Four, one of the premier sporting events in college sports. It’s a night that college basketball fans, players, and sportsbooks look forward to all year.
Of the NCAA’s 353 Division I basketball programs, only 92 teams have ever made it to the Final Four since the inception of the tournament back in 1939. Some have been regulars in the Final Four like North Carolina (20 appearances), Kentucky and UCLA (17 each), and Duke (16 appearances).
About a third of those 92 teams have only made it once. Being able to say that you have been to the Dance at least once is certainly better than the alternative. Just ask schools like BYU (29), Xavier (28), Missouri (26), and Tennessee (22).
The number in parenthesis is their total number of appearances without reaching the Final Four. So—who’s going to make it this year?
Final Four Odds: No Surprises Among The Top Contenders
It may seem like a piece of cake to pick the Final Four teams, but that is far from reality. Theoretically, the best regular-season teams will
be the ones to make it—which means the higher-ranked teams/seeds. But that isn’t always the case.
Roughly 80 percent of all Final Four participants have been seeded in the top four. But in six of the last seven tournaments, there has been at least one team seeded No. 7 or higher. The last time all four No. 1 seed made it was back in 2008.
What does that tell us? It reminds us that upsets happen all the time. They are nearly impossible to predict, so how do we plan for them?
Be as familiar as you can be with the depth of the top teams and the squads they will face. If a top team relies too much on one or two players, they may be more likely to get eliminated before the Final Four. A lower seed with excellent depth may be more apt to upset someone.
On that note, a sample of the odds on who will make the Final Four (according to DraftKings) are as follows:
Gonzaga, Kansas +125
Duke, Louisville +175
Michigan State +200
Maryland, Villanova +400
Ohio State +525
Arizona, Memphis, Michigan +650
Butler, Dayton, San Diego State +700
Florida State, North Carolina, West Virginia, Wichita State +900
Penn State +1000
Florida, Texas Tech +1150
Colorado, Creighton, Houston, Iowa, LSU, Marquette, Purdue, Texas, Xavier +1400
Bet online on DraftKings——–> Bet Now
So—who should you bet on?
It may be useful to start your process by reviewing some of the teams expected to be in the national title hunt this year. To figure out who they are, if you don’t know much about college basketball, start with the top ten.
Even if Baylor eventually gets knocked off the top spot, they are going to be in the top-ten come tournament time barring an epic collapse. Gonzaga is going to be in the mix again, as are perennial contenders like Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, and Louisville.
Also worth consideration are some of this year’s top teams like Florida State, San Diego State, Dayton Butler, Villanova, Oregon, Texas Tech, Purdue, and West Virginia.
But how do you pick just four from those teams (and the other good ones)?
The answer to that question is up to the person. Everyone has their own strategy. Some will wait until the odds became tighter. Others will wait until the regular season is over, while others may want to see how conference tournaments play out.
However, if you don’t want to wait for the pool to thin and the odds to shorten, enter a series of four-leg parlays featuring your best-educated guesses. That way, you can take advantage of the higher odds that will allow you to wager less while winning more.
Or you could just do whatever works for you.